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#170: The 1920's were an active and important period for the American arts

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BOB DOUGHTY: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION - American history in VOA Special English.

There were many changes in the social customs and day-to-day life of millions of Americans during the administration of President Calvin Coolidge.

在柯立芝总统执政期间,美国社会的风俗习惯和数百万美国人的日常生活发生了许多变化:

Many young people began to challenge the traditions of their parents and grandparents. They experimented with new ideas and ways of living. People of all kinds became interested in the new popular culture. Radio and films brought them exciting news of court trials, sports heroes and wild parties.

许多年轻人开始向他们的父辈和祖辈的传统生活方式提出挑战,尝试新的观念和生活方式。各种人都对新的流行文化感兴趣。广播和电影把法庭审判、体育英雄和疯狂派对等激动人心的新闻带给每一个人。

The nineteen twenties also was one of the most active and important periods for the more serious arts. Writers, painters, and other artists produced some of the greatest work in the nation's history.

20世纪20年代对严肃艺术而言也是非常活跃和重要的时期。作家、画家和其他艺术家们创作出了美国历史上一些最重要的艺术作品。

This week in our series, Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe take a look at American arts during this exciting period.

本周,我们就向你讲述这一时期的美国文学艺术成就。

KAY GALLANT: Most Americans approved strongly of the economic growth and improved living conditions during the nineteen twenties. They supported the conservative Republican policies of President Calvin Coolidge. And they had great faith in the country's business leaders and economic system.

大多数美国人热情肯定20世纪20年代美国快速的经济发展和生活改善。他们支持共和党总统柯立芝所采取的保守政策,并且对企业界领导人和美国经济体制充满信任。

However, many of the nation's serious artists had a different and darker view of society. They were troubled deeply by the changes they saw. They believed that Americans had become too interested in money and wealth.

然而,美国许多严肃的艺术家对社会有着不同的、悲观的看法,他们对所看到的变化深感担忧。他们认为,美国人变得过于追求金钱和财富了。

These artists rejected the new business society. And they also questioned the value of politics. Many of them believed that the first World War in Europe had been a terrible mistake. These artists had little faith in the political leaders who came to power after the war. They felt a need to protest the way the world was changing around them.

这些艺术家们反感正在兴起的商业社会,还对一些政治价值观提出质疑。他们中的许多人认为发生在欧洲的第一次世界大战是一个严重的错误。这些艺术家不信任一战后掌权的政治领导人,他们觉得有必要对周遭事物变化的方式表示抗议。

HARRY MONROE: The spirit of protest was especially strong in serious American writing during the nineteen twenties. Many of the greatest writers of this period hated the new business culture.

20世纪20年代的这种反对精神在美国严肃文学界尤为强烈,这一时期的许多著名作家痛恨新兴的商业文化。

One such writer was Sinclair Lewis. He was the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

其中就包括辛克莱.刘易斯。刘易斯是第一位获得诺贝尔文学奖的美国作家。

Lewis wrote about Americans living in the towns and villages in the central part of the United States. Many of the people in his books were foolish men and women with empty values. They chased after money and popularity. In his famous book "Main Street," Lewis joked about and criticized small-town business owners.

他的作品反映的是美国中部乡村人的生活,许多人物都是毫无思想的愚蠢男女,就知道追逐金钱和名誉。在他著名的小说《大街》中,他嘲笑和批判小镇上那些企业主。

Social criticism also was central to the writing of the newspaper writer H. L. Mencken, from the eastern city of Baltimore. Mencken considered most Americans to be stupid and violent fools. He attacked their values without mercy.

另一位以社会批判为主要写作内容的作家是东部巴尔的摩市的记者作家门肯。门肯认为,大多数美国人都是愚蠢和暴力的傻瓜,他毫不留情地批判他们的价值观。

Of course, many traditional Americans reacted strongly to such criticism. For example, some religious and business leaders attacked Mencken as a dangerous person whose words were treason against the United States. But many young people thought Mencken was a hero whose only crime was writing the truth.

不难想象,这样的批判在许多传统的美国人中间引起了强烈的反响。例如,有些宗教人士和企业界领导人攻击门肯,说他是一个危险的人,他的文字是对美国的背叛。但许多年轻人认为门肯是英雄,要说他有罪,那唯一的罪过就是他说出了真相。

F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald

KAY GALLANT: The work of Lewis, Mencken, and a number of other writers of the nineteen twenties has been forgotten by many Americans as the years have passed. But the period did produce some truly great writing.

随着时间的流逝,人们已经渐渐地淡忘了刘易斯、门肯和20世纪20年代其他一些作家的作品,但这个时期的确产生了一些真正伟大的作品。

One of the greatest writers of these years was Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway wrote about love, war, sports, and other subjects. He used short sentences and rough words. His style was sharper and different from traditional American writing. And his strong views about life set him apart from most other Americans.

最伟大的作家之一是欧内斯特.海明威,他的作品反映的是爱情、战争、运动等内容。他使用简短的句子和简朴的词汇,风格更加犀利,与传统美国作家的风格不同,而且他对生活有自己鲜明的看法,这与大多数美国人不同。

Another major writer was F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald wrote especially about rich Americans searching for happiness and new values. His books were filled with people who rejected traditional beliefs. His book "The Great Gatsby" is considered today to be one of the greatest works in the history of American writing.

另一位伟大的作家是斯科特.菲茨杰拉德。他着重描写的是美国富人追求幸福和新价值观的故事。他的书中充满了丢弃传统信仰的人。他写的《了不起的盖茨比》至今被认为是美国文学史上最伟大的作品之一。

A third great writer of the nineteen twenties was William Faulkner.

Faulkner wrote about the special problems and ways of life in the American south. His books explored the emotional tension in a society still suffering from the loss of the Civil War sixty years before. Some of Faulkner's best books were "The Sound and The Fury," "As I Lay Dying" and "Absalom, Absalom." Like Hemingway, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

那个时期的第三个伟大作家是威廉.福克纳,他的作品反映的是美国南方所特有的社会问题和生活方式。他的作品反映了美国南方在60年前的内战中失败后依然未愈的伤痛,并挖掘这种伤痛造成的紧张的社会情绪。他的作品包括《喧哗与骚动》、《我弥留之际》和《押沙龙,押沙龙》。和海明威一样,他也获得了诺贝尔文学奖。

(MUSIC)

HARRY MONROE: The nineteen twenties also produced the greatest writer of theater plays in American history, Eugene O'Neill.

20世纪20年代的美国还产生了历史上最伟大的剧作家尤金.奥尼尔。

O'Neill was an Irish-American with a dark and violent view of human nature. His plays used new theatrical methods and ways of presenting ideas. But they carried an emotional power never before seen in the American theater. Some of his best known plays were "Mourning Becomes Electra," "The Iceman Cometh" and "A Long Day's Journey into Night."

他是爱尔兰裔美国人,对人性有着黑暗和激进的看法。他的戏剧利用新的舞台手段和表现方式,带给观众前所未有的情感冲击。他最著名的作品包括《悲悼》、《送冰的人来了》和《长日入夜行》。

A number of American writers also produced great poetry during the nineteen twenties. Probably the most famous work was "The Waste Land," a poem of sadness by the writer T. S. Eliot.

20世纪20年代的美国除了经历经济高速发展、人民生活改善和种种社会变革之外,严肃艺术也硕果累累,不过,艺术家们对社会的看法是批判的、悲观的。许多美国作家还写出了优秀的诗歌,其中最著名的也许是由埃略特创作的悲怆诗《荒原》。

KAY GALLANT: There also were important changes in American painting during the nineteen twenties. Economic growth gave many Americans the money to buy art for their homes for the first time. Sixty new museums opened. Slowly, Americans learned about serious art.

绘画领域在20世纪20年代的美国也出现了许多重要的变化。经济的发展使许多美国人第一次有钱购买艺术品来装饰自己的家了。那时,有60家新的博物馆对外开放。慢慢地,美国人开始了解严肃艺术。

Actually, American art had been changing in important ways since the beginning of the century.

实际上,自20世纪初开始,美国艺术就发生了重大的变化。

In nineteen-oh-eight, a group of New York artists arranged a historic show. These artists tried to show real life in their paintings. They painted new kinds of subjects. For example, George Bellows painted many emotional and realistic pictures of the sport of boxing. His work, and the painting of other realistic artists, became known as the "Ash Can" school of art.

1908年,一些纽约艺术家举办了一场历史性的展览,他们试图在自己的绘画中展示真实的生活,于是他们画新出现的东西。例如,乔治.贝洛斯画了许多反映拳击运动的充满激情和写实的作品,他的作品和其他一些现实主义艺术家的作品被人们称为"垃圾箱"画派。

Another important group of modern artists was led by the great photographer Alfred Stieglitz. This group held a major art show in nineteen thirteen in New York, Chicago, and Boston. The show presented modern art from Europe. Americans got their first chance to see the work of such painters as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.

另一个重要的现代艺术家团体由著名摄影家阿尔佛雷德.斯蒂格利茨领导。这个艺术团体于1913年在纽约、芝加哥和波士顿举办了大型艺术展,向美国人展示了欧洲的现代艺术。美国人第一次有机会欣赏毕加索和乔治.布拉克等画家的作品。

The show caused a huge public debate in the United States. Traditional art critics accused the organizers of the show of trying to overthrow Christianity and American values. Former president Theodore Roosevelt and others denounced the new art as a threat to the country.

这些艺术展在美国公众中引起了非常广泛的争论。传统的艺术批评家们指责展览的组织者试图推翻基督教精神和美国的价值观。前总统西奥多.罗斯福和其他一些人公开指责说,这种新的艺术形式是对美国的一种威胁。

However, many young American painters and art lovers did not agree. They became very interested in the new art styles from Europe. They studied them closely.

然而许多年轻的美国画家和艺术爱好者不这么认为,他们对这些来自欧洲的新艺术风格的作品非常感兴趣,并认真研究起来。

Soon, Charles Demuth, Joseph Stella, and other American painters began to produce excellent art in the new Cubist style. John Marin painted beautiful views of sea coasts in New York and Maine. And such artists as Max Weber and Georgia O'Keeffe painted in styles that seemed to come more from their own imagination than from reality.

很快,查尔斯.德缪斯、约瑟夫.斯特拉和其他一些美国画家开始在新立体派风格的影响下创作出精美的作品。约翰.马林创作了纽约和缅因州海滨的美丽风景画。马克斯.韦伯和乔治.奥基夫等艺术家以想象的、超现实的手法进行绘画。

As with writing, the work of many of these serious modern painters only became popular many years later.

和文学作品一样,这一时期许多这种严肃现代派画家的作品直到多年后才受到人们的追捧。

HARRY MONROE: The greatest American designer of buildings during the nineteen twenties was Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright believed that architects should design a building to fit its location, not to copy some ancient style. He used local materials in new ways. Wright invented many imaginative methods to combine useful building design with natural beauty.

20世纪20年代美国最伟大的建筑设计师是弗兰克.劳埃德.赖特。他认为建筑的设计应该与建筑所在地的环境相适应,而不能简单地复制古代的建筑风格。他发明了许多富有想象力的方法,利用当地的材料,把建筑物的实用性和周围的自然美景融合起来。

But again, most Americans did not know of Wright's work. Instead, they turned to local architects with traditional beliefs. These architects generally designed old and safe styles for buildings -- for homes, offices, colleges, and other needs.

然而,绝大多数美国人没有听说过赖特的作品,他们还是用那些有着传统观念的当地建筑设计师,这些设计师通常将建筑物--如住房、办公楼、大学校园和其他建筑,设计得中规中矩。

KAY GALLANT: Writers and artists now look back at the roaring nineteen twenties as an extremely important period that gave birth to many new styles and ideas.

作家和艺术家们现在把20世纪20年代这个"喧嚣时期"视为一段极为重要的历史阶段,它孕育出了许多新的风格和想法。

Hemingway's style of writing continues to influence American writers. Many painters say the period marked the real birth of modern American art. And architecture students in the United States and other countries now study the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright.

海明威的写作风格一直影响着美国作家。许多画家说,那个时期标志着美国现代绘画艺术的诞生。而美国和其他国家建筑设计系的学生们到今天还在研究弗兰克.劳埃德.赖特的建筑作品。

The changes in American society caused many of these artists much sadness and pain in their personal lives. But their expression of protest and rich imagination produced a body of work that has grown in influence with the passing years.

美国社会的变化给这些艺术家们的个人生活带来了许多痛苦和悲伤,但他们凭反抗精神和丰富想象力创造出了一系列作品,随着时光的流逝,这些作品的影响力越来越大。

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Our program was written by David Jarmul. The narrators were Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe.

You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and images at www.unsv.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

___

This is program #170

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